With Hillary un-officially becoming the Democratic Presidential Nominee on Tuesday (I say “un-officially” only as a matter of formality. To anyone who thinks she is not the actual Nominee at this point, I am sorry to break the news, but you’re living in denial), there has been quite a bit of ranting from all sides.
I’ve had a few people ask me if I think Bernie should step down, or if I think the “Bernieorbust” movement is going to bring about the apocalypse by allowing Drumpf to sit on the Iron Throne.
What everyone really needs to do for a second is to take a deep breath, and calm the hell down. Now that that’s done, decide which of these groups you fall into, and please read accordingly:
To Bernieorbust’ers, or anyone who has ever supplanted Hillary’s name with some form of the word “shill”:
First and foremost: Hillary is the nominee. Seriously, stop. Barring any major (and I mean MAJOR) new legitimate scandal, she is and will be the Democratic Presidential Nominee. Now before any of you start talking about emails, or Benghazi, or one of the other dozen things being thrown around in an attempt to disqualify her candidacy, let me make one thing clear. None of this matters at this moment.
Your opinions on whether or not any of these things are grounds for disqualification are unimportant at this stage. Unless the FBI comes and surprises the world with previously un-released information, she is not going to be disqualified, and she WILL be the nominee. Bernie could not convince Superdelegates to come to his side when he HAD the momentum, and he isn’t going to be successful after the major defeats in NY and CA. So get all of that out of your head.
Secondly, and this is the most important. What now? If you are anything like me, you weren’t fighting, and debating, and caucusing/voting just to get another old white man into office. We love Bernie, but our fire, our revolution is not embodied by one man. We believe in his ideas and his vision. However building that movement, and laying the groundwork for a more successful 2020 (or more importantly, pushing this movement into congress) is still in the distant future. So again, I ask: What now?
I’ve heard from some that they plan to stay home. Others say they are going to write in Bernie, or vote for Jill Stein. I’m not here to tell you to do “X”, but please please PLEASE realize that today is not November 8th, and you do not need to be so damned stubborn about it at this point. Our movement is one about progress and acceptance. It is about hard work and dedication to make our ideas of better government a reality. Shutting down and blindly sticking to your rash decision just because of some wounded pride is against what the whole political revolution is about. Inaction is bad, but misguided action due to bitterness is even worse. You don’t need to make a decision today, so don’t. Research options on how to CHANGE the system that prevented us from having a direct impact in the first place. Get involved with your local government and see how you can help spread awareness of your position. Actively and Compassionately engage with those who have differing opinions.
You don’t need to get behind Hillary right now, but realize that those who are in her camp are not the enemy. They want better healthcare, women’s rights, racial and income equality. They want progressives in the Supreme Court, and they want more public services. Instead of drilling into what is so different between us, take a moment to see what we have in common, and seize that!
If we make Hillary the enemy, then we are saying that there is nothing left to fight for. We are saying that all that we stand for is lost. That Clinton or Drumpf, it doesn’t matter, because we have no way of making any progress, and that defeatism is not only deleterious to our movement, it is also flat out wrong.
To those firmly in Hillary’s Camp who feel the need to remind every Bernie supporter that Trump is the enemy:
Back off. Seriously. You don’t realize that you are doing more harm than good. This isn’t some case where two sides were arguing about something like “what is the most popular Starbursts flavor?”
Hillary winning did nothing to prove that she is the right candidate to millions of Bernie supporters. It proved that more people support her, and that’s it.
I have one question for you, and I ask that you truly think about this before answering. What is more important to you: 1) Proving that you were right about Hillary, or 2) Ensuring Hillary is elected in November?
If you answered 1, then please get out of politics. You apparently don’t care about what actually matters, and your competitive ego is going to be the death of your movement. You will never win over Bernie supporters and your candidate will lose to the least qualified presidential candidate in the entire history of Real and Fictional presidential candidates (and I am including Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho in this category).
However, call me optimistic, but I truly believe that the majority of you reading this (especially if you consider yourself a friend of mine) answered 2. So then why are you acting so god-damned like the former group?
Try, for a second, to look at things from the typical Bernie supporter’s viewpoint. Even if you disagree with these stances, if you want to bring people t your side, you have to try and see where they are coming from. We have been told from the very get-go that our candidate, and therefore our ideas and beliefs, are imaginary, pie in the sky, impossible, laughable even. We have heard in almost every major news outlet that “Bernie has already won because he never intended to even make it this far.” Fuck. That.
Seriously, do you even realize how condescending that is? We’re not in this for some participation trophy. We know the odds are against almost every single one of our platforms, but we also believe that despite the odds, they are the morally and ethically appropriate platforms for our government and society. So giving us a pat on the back and pretending like we exceeded everyone’s expectations is a middle finger to everything we have fought for these months.
Additionally, when you say something like “If you don’t vote for Hillary, Drumpf is going to win”, you are NOT convincing any of us anything we didn’t already know. Despite what you may think, we have a good idea of what is going on in the political world, and Drumpf is no surprise. Instead, it comes off like extortion.
Trying to secure our vote through the threat of Drumpf is quite literally extortion. So stop.
You want our vote? Give us something to vote for. Not by telling us who to vote against, nor by regurgitating Hillary’s platform to us verbatim. There is a reason we didn’t vote for her in the primaries, and it doesn’t excite any of us to vote for her in the generals. Instead, follow the same advice that I gave the previous group. You want our vote? Engage with us. We don’t owe you or anyone else our vote, so stop acting like it is our duty to support the candidate and the campaign that treated us like we are naïve children. It isn’t working, and trying to get us to come on board by threats of someone worse just serves as a reminder of how much of a joke this election cycle has been. Over 12 million people threw in their support for Sanders. And as sad as it is, you need as many of us as possible to help this fall to prevent Drumpf from entering the White House (See? that threat can work both ways), so do everyone a favor, and seek to work WITH us instead of telling us to get in line. That is the difference between 1 and 2.
Bernie supporters have to come to terms with the fact that Clinton is the Nominee, but we don’t have to sacrifice all of our beliefs. Likewise, Hillary supporters need to let Sanders’ supporters process the events of the last few months, and when they are ready, work with them to help elect our first Woman President, not lecture them about duty.
Bernie going to the convention is not bad for the party. As long as he stays in the race, he holds onto millions of supporters, and when the time is right, he can help transition that group back into the party, providing the party is willing to hear us out. What is bad for the party is all these posts from both sides complaining about the other side.
I don’t care who started it. I’m about ready to turn this car around! Stop poking each other and arguing about things that can’t be changed. Instead, let’s work together to take care of the things we CAN change.
There is so much more left to work on in our political process, and in getting our country back up from this embarrassingly low point. Anyone who is throwing in the towel already really wasn’t ready for the long haul anyway. So let’s all stop telling people what they have to do, and work together to decide what is best for us all. Deal?
Or, at the very least, can we all just agree that pink Starbursts are the best flavor of Starbursts?
#pinkiswhereitsat #noonelikesyouorange #nowiwantcandy